German Cinema appreciation post

Zapping random channels on a friday night. Tuned to a German television channel to find out Goodbye Lenin is playing. I notice that while my written understanding of German is fine, it is quite hard to follow the movie without subtitles. Still, coming across this movie remembers me that there are a lot of decent German movies around. So that’s why I have written this post, to suggest some fine German movies. Of course with added IMDB links for your convenience đŸ™‚

Das Leben Der Anderen

An agent is instructed to spy on a playwright and his actress girlfriend. Slowly he begins to doubt the reasons he is instructed to spy on these people and discovers that he actually doesn’t want to harm them. But the regime in power decides that more precise monitoring is needed. The Stasi agent is drawn in to a dilemma, the more he knows about these people, the more he admires them…

Sophie Scholl: Die letzten tage

Movie about the members of Die Weisse Rose, a group of students that spread anti-Nazi propaganda during the second world war and were arrested, went through a show trial and were eventually executed. This movie does not contain a lot of action but instead focuses on the courage of these people to stand up to the evil and immoral ideologies of the Third Reich. Of course, this movie is about the most charismatic member of Die Weisse Rose, Sophie Scholl. She is played by Julia Jentsch who also plays in the next movie:

Die Fetten Jahren sind vorbei (also listed as The Edukators)

Two young men have a strange habit: they go to rich people’s houses at night and rearrange all the furniture and other materials, and leave notes saying that the owners of the house have too much money and that the “fat years are over”. Later in the story, they are joined by the girlfriend of one of the boys. During one of their raids they accidently meet the owner of the house who arrives home unexpectedly… A movie about the ideals young people have, and how people change their political orientation over time, based on their experiences in society.

Das Experiment

A group of psychologists setup up an experiment that researches the relation between inmates and prison guards. Not unexpected, the experiment goes horribly wrong and the main character has to fight for this mental and physical wellbeing. This is not a movie for the fainthearted, as it contains a lot of abuse and a few deaths. Still, it is highly recommend in my opinion because it is a very realistic story that tells a lot about human behaviour in situations where people are given the chance to opress people without any direct consequences.


Two very different boys, Friedrich, from a  lower class environment, and Albrecht, son of a high German officer meet in a Napola, a training camp that prepares young boys to become an SS officer.

They both get a special treatment, but because of different reasons. Friedrich is considered “racially pure” because of his blond hair, blue eyes and muscular build. Albrecht has little of the things considered superior by the nazi ideology. He is of fragile build, has black hair and enjoys poetry. Still, he is sent to the camp because his father expects him to become a SS officer. During the course of the story, Albrecht faces a lot of hardships because he fails to do what is expected from him. Friedrich seems naive at first, but slowly discovers that he is only appreciated because of his physical features and that the Nazi regime does not care about people’s personal feelings and friendships.

Das Boot

One of my all time favorite movies, and not surprisingly, a German movie. A journalist is sent to sea in a submarine during the second world war. He has to report on life aboard a submarine, in a positive way of course, suited for propaganda use.

Soon he discovers that life on a submarine is far from comfortable. He has to live in crowded spaces without any privacy. At first the crew is also suspicious of this new crew member. Slowly he learns about all the crew members and their cynical view on the war.

This movie has a lot of suspense in it, especially when you, unlike me, see it for the first time. Still, I can watch this movie any day because of the interesting characters and the gritty, greasy atmosphere of a submarine filled with all kinds of gauges and valves, while the sea is being split by depth charges.

So, anyway, this is the end of this post and I hope you enjoy the movies I just recommended.

-edit- Corrected some weird “english”, and from the comments some more recommendations:


Die Welle


Christiane F. – Wir Kinder von Bahnhof Zoo

2 Responses to German Cinema appreciation post

  1. Avatar André
    André says:

    Check out ‘Die Welle’….
    One of the best movies I have seen, German or not.

  2. Nog een goeie Duitse film: ‘Anatomie’.